About Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome
The cervical facet joints in the spine connect the cervical vertebrae to one another and allow the cervical spine to move. Like other joints in the body, facet joints have cartilage to cushion the vertebrae during movement. Degenerative disc disease, wear/tear and injury can cause inflammation in the facet joints, resulting in neck, back and radiating nerve pain. Cervical facet joint syndrome, or cervical facet joint osteoarthritis can be painful, limiting the mobility of the spine. The pain is often described as neck stiffness, with “clicking or cracking sounds” when the neck is turned from left to right. Additionally, patients report pain that tends to stay in the middle of their neck and sometimes may even radiate outward to their shoulders mimicking shoulder pain. Pain from cervical facet joint syndrome does not often radiate beyond the elbow into the hands or fingers. The symptoms of cervical facet syndrome can be similar to other spinal conditions, including degenerative disc disease, spinal stenosis, herniated discs and sciatica. An accurate diagnosis will ensure the right treatment is used to offer relief from facet syndrome pain and mobility issues.
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Symptoms of Cervical Joint Facet Syndrome
Symptoms of cervical facet joint syndrome can vary in their intensity and description. Generally, most patients report pain that tends to remain in the middle of their neck with radiation out to their bilateral shoulders. Sometimes the pain can remain one-sided, either on the right or the left. Pain is described as achy, deep, sharp, intermittent, and/or severe. Pain can be made worse with activity and even cause headaches and facial pain if severe.
Treatments for Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome
Cervical facet joint syndrome or cervical facet arthritis does not have a cure, but the progression can be slowed down, and symptoms can be treated. To relieve cervical facet joint syndrome pain and symptoms, advanced interventional spine treatments are available at Ospina Medical. We offer a multimodal approach to treating cervical facet joint pain in the form of physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, activity modification and when needed interventional spine procedures. These can be in the form of cortisone or steroid injections into and around the cervical facet joints and radiofrequency nerve ablations to help minimize pain. We also offer Regenexx treatments such as platelet rich plasma (PRP) and bone marrow concentrate containing stem cells that can be experimentally used to help heal, rejuvenate and slow the progression of cervical facet joint syndrome.
If you suffer from cervical facet joint syndrome, come visit us at Ospina Medical. Our clinic is located in Midtown Manhattan. Contact our office to schedule an exam and consultation to learn more about your treatment options.
Cervical Facet Joint Syndrome FAQ
Can cervical facet joint syndrome be cured?
There is currently no cure for cervical facet joint syndrome; however, there are effective treatments to manage the symptoms of the condition and slow its progression. At Ospina Medical, we offer an array of advanced treatments and therapies to personalize your treatment for optimal results and an improved quality of life. Treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medication
- Steroid injections
- Regenexx treatments (SCP and bone marrow)
What causes cervical facet joint syndrome?
Cervical facet joint syndrome can be caused by a number of factors, including trauma or injury, aging, arthritis, overuse, genetics, and repetitive motions. These may include a spinal injury or occur as a secondary condition from another issue like degenerative disc disease.
What are the symptoms of cervical facet joint syndrome?
In addition to the symptoms listed above, cervical facet joint syndrome can also cause:
- Tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or arms
- Neck, shoulders, and upper back pain
- Swelling and tenderness at facet site
- Decreased neck flexibility and range of motion